So how do you break off contract negotiation talks? You hand deliver a letter to the other side.
Here’s a copy of the missive that reps for Nick Counter just gave to reps of David Young… just a few minutes after insiders say Young and Counter exchanged terse words. Counter wanted to know if the WGA’s next proposal would include any of the six items the AMPTP wanted off the table (such as jurisdiction over reality TV). Young said he didn’t know. Counter said there wasn’t anything else to talk about. Young, says a person familiar with the situation, then walked away and slammed a door behind him.
The letter below pretty much outlines what happened (at least from Counter’s perspective).
December 7, 2007
Mr. David Young
Writers Guild of America, West
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
Re: 2007 WGA Negotiations
This will confirm the conversation we had today at approximately 6:05 p.m., in the presence of Bryan Lourd, in which I asked whether the WGA was preparing a proposal in response to the proposal given to the WGA by the Companies at approximately 2:35 p.m. this afternoon. You advised that the WGA was preparing such a proposal. I asked whether any of the six issues that the Companies had earlier today advised the Guild must be withdrawn before negotiations can proceed further would be included within the proposal the WGA is preparing. You responded that you did not know because you were still working on the proposal.
I informed you that when the WGA sends me a letter confirming that those six proposals are withdrawn, the AMPTP will schedule another negotiation session with the WGA.
J. Nicholas Counter III
cc: AMPTP Board of Directors